Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Earthquake bill could unnecessarily sting Waikato

Earthquake bill could unnecessarily sting Waikato

The Waikato Mayoral Forum is warning local Waikato communities could individually face multi-million dollar expenditure to comply with “excessive” new earthquake legislation being promoted by the Government.

The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill suggests a significant toughening of building earthquake-risk rules in an effort to boost community safety.

“The forum accepts the need for legislative change but believes the current proposals are excessive and don’t include an appropriate risk assessment process,” said chairman Allan Sanson.

This is especially the case in Waikato which is generally an area of very low seismic risk, apart from Taupo and the Hauraki Plains, said Mr Sanson.

“In line with Local Government New Zealand, we strongly urge the Government to think again before imposing the threat of major, unnecessary burdens on Waikato communities. Any new rules need to better reflect the actual risks faced in particular locations around New Zealand rather than take such a broad, one size fits all approach.”

In a formal submission on the bill, the forum said a typical rural district faced initial estimated extra building assessment costs of $3-$4 million, with additional related annual administrative costs of $1.2-$1.5 million.

“It is estimated that of those buildings assessed about 20 per cent are potentially earthquake prone. Affected building owners in such a typical rural district face potential upgrade costs estimated to be more than $100 million.”

The submission noted assessments of buildings to be carried out by councils would be a cost on ratepayers, who would also have to bear the cost of any upgrades to council-owned buildings.

The forum warned high costs of upgrades could lead to widespread demolition of buildings in town centres across the Waikato “with little left standing”.

“Apart from their personal loss of equity, the cost to communities will be in the availability of commercial buildings and therefore places of employment. It will also significantly impact on ease of doing business for the rural communities who are serviced by these towns.”

Demolitions would “potentially risk the future of communities and impose significant economic hardship for our people” and have “long-term social and economic impacts”.

The submission said the bill’s “broad blanket” approach could not be justified to Waikato rural communities on cost-benefit grounds. “These are communities where typically the risk of an earthquake is considered to be low and the potential benefits that will be achieved will be significantly less than expected additional costs that are to be imposed.”

The forum recommended the local government and environment select committee ask for further investigation into earthquake probabilities and risks.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news